Senate panel approves DOTr’s P147-B budget for 2020
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate Committee on Finance approved on Thursday the P147-billion budget of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for 2020, even as the agency asks for additional budget, including approximately P1.2 billion for 13 aviation projects.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Committee on Finance (Subcommittee E), presided over the approval of the DOTr’s budget during a Senate hearing. The budget will be submitted to the plenary for deliberation.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the DOTr has 13 aviation projects that were not included by the Department of Budget Management in the 2020 budget of the agency. Some of these projects are for night rating which will make more airports capable of receiving and launching flights at night.
“Night rating is very important not only in terms of mobility, but it is very important in relation to tourism, and also in security. That’s why they should give us additional considerations in including the night rating budgets,” he said.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, meanwhile, chided the DOTr for supposedly not identifying the targeted number of modernized public utility jeepneys (PUJs) to replace 170,000 old units.
Tugade said the DOTr has set its targets for the modernization plan of public utility vehicles, but it may extend the project beyond the term of President Rodrigo Duterte if it will require more time.
On questioning by Senator Francis Tolentino, Tugade reiterated the DOTr is no longer seeking the granting of emergency powers to address traffic woes in Metro Manila.
The proposed budget of the DOTr for 2020 is more than double than its approved budget of P67.67 billion for this year’s fiscal plan. /muf
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